30 per cent of Flemish citizens not planning to vote next year
Thirty per cent of Flemish voters say they will definitely not or probably not vote in the 2024 local elections, an opinion poll by De Standaard and VRT showed on Thursday.
For the first time, voting will not be compulsory in Flemish local elections. According to the poll, many Flemish citizens are not planning to vote in 2024.
Most of the non-voters are more dissatisfied with the current political landscape than with democracy itself. More than eight out of 10 Flemish people surveyed consider democracy a good way to govern a country. But only half believe that Belgium is actually governed democratically; 34 per cent believe it is not.
Plenty of scandals
Flemish and Belgian politics has been plagued with scandals in recent months. The Flemish government almost imploded due to disagreements on nitrogen policy. The government of prime minister Alexander De Croo, meanwhile, has lost two state secretaries and is grappling with the Bpost scandal.
For national and European elections, voting is still compulsory. But if that were abolished too, less than half say they would vote.
Political experts warned about this outcome more than 20 years ago, De Standaard writes. Not only did they predict a low turnout without compulsory voting, they also warned of an increase in social inequality.
The results of the poll indicate that income is linked to willingness to vote. People in the highest income bracket are twice as likely to vote as people in the lowest bracket.
Flemish elections will be held on 13 October 2024, while Belgian and European elections will take place in June next year.
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